The European Union launches rural development project in Tskaltubo municipality
Tskaltubo, 8 June 2019 – The European Union launched a new rural development project in Tskaltubo in partnership with People in Need (PIN), co-funded by Czech Development Agency. The project “Local Action Group Tskaltubo” introduces a bottom-up, inclusive rural development approach that fully engages all communities in the municipality. The project is funded by the EU under the European Neighbourhood Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development (ENPARD). The project follows the earlier EU-supported rural development actions in Borjomi, Lagodekhi, Kazbegi, Dedoplistskaro, Tetritskaro, Akhalkalaki, Keda and Khulo municipalities.
At the launching event opening speeches were delivered by Carl Hartzell, Ambassador of the European Union to Georgia; Jan Cernik, the Embassy of Czech Republic to Georgia; Khatia Tsilosani, Deputy Minister of Environment Protection and Agriculture of Georgia; Ioseb Khakhaleishvili, Deputy State Representative-Governor of Imereti; Tsotne Zurabiani, Tskaltubo Majoritarian Member of the Parliament of Georgia; Grigol Ioseliani, Mayor of Tskaltubo; Dion Battersby, People in Need Country Director; Nana Kashakashvili, GIPA; and Salome Bakashvili, Project Manager.
“We are proud to be part of Georgia’s progress in rural development and look forward to continuing working with our partners to improve employment and living conditions of the rural population in Georgia. Based on my personal experience in Georgia, I am a strong believer in the benefits of a bottom-up approach in rural areas, empowering local people to take the development of their communities into their own hands. I am looking forward to seeing the initiatives this project will put forward to improve lives in Tskaltubo” – stated Carl Hartzell, Ambassador of the European Union to Georgia.
People in Need, together with its partner organisation, the Georgian Institute of Public Affairs (GIPA), presented the project objectives and illustrated the community-led local development approach. The project aims to improve the socio-economic integration of disadvantaged rural communities in the municipality and contribute to poverty reduction.
“Development of Tskaltubo is mostly connected with the promotion of its unique natural, as well as human resources. The goal of our project is to develop a joint vision of Tskaltubo business, public and civil sectors and use interests and unique opportunities of every community to achieve economic development of Tskaltubo municipality” – stated Salome Bakashvili, project manager.
Over 100 representatives of the Delegation of the European Union to Georgia, Ministry of Environment Protection and Agriculture, Tskaltubo local authorities, ENPARD implementing partners, private and civil society organisations attended the event. Members of the Tskaltubo community, potential beneficiaries of the project also took part.
Prior to the official opening, an exposition was organised where local entrepreneurs representing art, culture, tourism, business and other sectors presented their products and services.
The European Union is supporting agriculture and rural development in Georgia through its ENPARD programme. The support is grounded on the best European practices in the field and involves improving livelihoods of rural communities through creating economic opportunities and promoting local public-private partnerships. Implemented since 2013, with a total budget of EUR 179.5 million, the main goal of ENPARD is to reduce rural poverty in Georgia. For more information please visit www.enpard.ge